Two Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust surgeons at the centre of a row about safety concerns have blamed the trust’s management for problems and called for an investigation.
Consultant breast surgeons Raafat Gendy and Raghavan Vidya told HSJ they wanted a “broad based review” of the trust’s breast surgery service after a peer review in March described the team as “deeply dysfunctional”.
They deny blocking a review by the Royal College of Surgeons but told HSJ they did not support a review by the college. They describing it as “irrelevant” and “too narrow” because it would not address wider management issues. This view was “widely supported by colleagues”, they said, with many believing a review by the college “is not only unwarranted but it could unnecessarily escalate patient anxiety and further destabilise the unit”.
The two surgeons claim the issues cited in the peer review were related to “repeated problems in appointing a lead clinician and the uploading of incorrect information on three occasions by senior management”. They insist the service was monitored by regular audits and reviews. “None of these has identified concern with… clinical standards,” the duo added.
They also accuse the trust of appointing “inappropriate” members of staff or non-breast specialists to the team.
The two surgeons have been referred to the General Medical Council by the trust, on the advice of the Royal College of Surgeons, because of what the trust said was “their unwillingness to cooperate with the RCS”.
But in a statement to HSJ, the surgeons said: “Following an unsatisfactory peer review to the unit, we have called for a broad-base external review to address the issues [which led to its findings].
“It is not in the public interest to use an irrelevant RCS review to divert attention from the real reasons that led to the unsatisfactory review report.
“We have explained our views to the RCS and the GMC and we are continuing to work with the trust management to arrange a broad-base review.”